News Release

‘Music and the Spoken Word’ to Premiere in Spanish

Four narrators to participate in the pilot

Updated July 10, 2023

A new launch date has been set for the Spanish pilot of "Music and the Spoken Word" (Música y Palabras de Inspiración) to air on July 30, 2023. The program will be available on the Choir's new Spanish YouTube channel

The inspirational messages are translated from original works written by Lloyd Newell. 

Updated June 21, 2023

The following announcement has been provided by The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square:

Music & the Spoken Word in Spanish will not air on June 25 but will launch soon. The pilot episodes of the release will mark an historic moment as the program becomes available weekly for Spanish-speaking audiences for the first time. This expansion supports the Choir’s commitment to sharing the gospel and message of the Savior throughout the world.

Article Published June 2, 2023

For the first time in its 100-year history, The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square’s flagship broadcast, “Music and the Spoken Word,” will premiere in Spanish on June 25, 2023. The weekly Spanish broadcast, which will be available on a Spanish YouTube channel, is one of the Choir’s new pilot programs to increase its influence and worldwide visibility. Another pilot invited global participants to sing with the Choir in April’s general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

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Choir President Michael O. Leavitt said: “People around the world hear ‘Music and the Spoken Word’ each week. There are millions more that would listen if it were available in their language rather than a dubbed voiceover of the English-language version. Likewise, we want the visuals which accompany our music to be more relatable to our audience. These changes will also motivate more television and radio stations to carry our program.” 

The initial pilot of “Music and the Spoken Word” in Spanish will feature a rotation of four narrators: Alex Melecio, Ana Yslas, Pepe Valle and Garna Mejia. 

Mejia will narrate the “Spoken Word” in the debut broadcast. In addition to being the first Spanish narrator for the pilot, she will also be the first woman given this honor. Mejia is of Mexican descent and a television journalist who worked in Spanish- and English-language news stations throughout the western United States before joining the Newsroom team of the Communication Department for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

“I am thrilled that viewers, like my mother, will soon hear ‘Music and the Spoken Word’s’ inspiring messages in their own language. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this wonderful effort,” said Mejia. “Since its beginning, women have lent their voices to the Choir and been a driving force in the program’s success. I feel humbled to know that I am building on their legacy as a female narrator.” 

Although the Choir will sing primarily in English, all other components of the broadcast will be in Spanish, including the graphics, text, and even images featuring landscapes and the lifestyles and cultures of Spanish people throughout the world. Narrated “Spoken Word” segments will be filmed on location in Mexico during the Choir’s tour in June. 

Bonneville Distribution has secured new television and radio stations in Mexico to broadcast “Music and the Spoken Word” in Spanish to over 30 million viewers. Bonneville is continuing its efforts to enlist stations to broadcast the weekly half-hour program of inspirational music and uplifting words throughout South America and the United States. More about “Music and the Spoken Word” in Spanish can be found on the Choir’s website. 

A Portuguese broadcast of “Music and the Spoken Word” is coming soon. Leavitt said: “This is a pilot. We are confident it is going to be well received. When we are able to prove it successful in Spanish and Portuguese, we will go to other languages because our goal is to have ‘Music and the Spoken Word’ heard throughout the world.” 

Choir historian Heidi Swinton said the broadcasts are designed for an international audience. “Mack Wilberg is a music director that thinks outside the box,” she said. “When he puts together each program, he does not just think about what music will be meaningful in Salt Lake City, he thinks about music that will speak to people in a universal way, whether they are in Mexico, New Zealand, Europe or the Philippines. He chooses music that helps people feel closer to the divine and will enhance the ‘Spoken Word’ portion of the program.” 

“Music and the Spoken Word” in Spanish is part of the four high-level objectives that the Choir presidency—composed of Leavitt and two counselors: President L. Whitney Clayton and President Gary B. Porter—announced in February 2022. These objectives are to expand the Choir’s digital audience, magnify its missionary role, ensure that the Choir reflects the Church’s worldwide mission and increase the Choir’s worldwide visibility.

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